Songs that take you back to a moment in time


Silver Supporting Member
I'm thinking of where you hear that first chord and the hairs go up on the back of your neck and you're instantly transported back to a point in time where you first remember it. Born Slippy by Underworld is mine - it takes me back to Phoenix Festival in 1996 where there was a tent screening films through the night and a few friends and I, a little the worse for wear, decided to go and see Trainspotting in the early hours. Whenever I hear those first gorgeous chords I remember staggering back to our tents with it ringing in our ears with the first glimmer of the sun on the horizon. Every single time I hear it the same thing happens, every bit as powerful as ever. It's a wonderful piece of music, but there's definitely something weird in the old brain chemistry going on.

So what's yours?

Blur - "Stereotypes"
1997 , the sun was shining, and for a brief moment everything in the world made perfect sense

the following year:
Massive Attack - "Teardrop"
put the CD single (hot pink!) in my little white Aiwa boombox on the floor of my first apartment
I was completely transfixed, and had a feeling like, "this is the future and I'm part of it"


Gold Supporting Member
a fifteen year old sittin by our 3ft above ground pool, chillin to this. i just dug the psychedelic nuance of the song. now it brings back memories of summer. never fully understanding the references of the tune.
the flipside was a trippy, "plastic fantastic lover".



Gold Supporting Member
Toto Hold The Line. Fall of ‘79. Going to high school in London. Keith Decker had been back to the states over the summer and on the first day of school broke out his cassette of this new band Toto that hadn’t hit England yet. We were floored.


Mutations Expert
Platinum Supporting Member
Chuck Mangione’s Feel So Good brings me back to a time when I was playing in my college big band and I heard Grant Geissman’ s solo on that tune for the first time. I was absolutely blown away. I wanted to be able play like him so badly. To be honest, I never even came close to mastering that level of creativity and expression, but it was still a wonderful time of hope, inspiration, growth, and all things being possible.

Addendum: After I came to California, I met Grant and was able to study under him for a while. He is a great guy and so incredibly gifted.


When I was in seventh grade we had a Spoodle(cross between a spitz and a poodle). She would follow me everywhere and be waiting for me when I got home from school and watching for me and run across the field to greet me. One day a friend and I were playing in the woods and of course she followed us. My friend noticed she was a bit sluggish and said my dog acted drunk. That evening we took her to the vet and she died that night of pneumonia. I heard this song on the radio on the way to the vet. It still reminds me of her and brings a tear to my eye. Dixie was a good dog and a great friend.


Gold Supporting Member
All of them, really.

This one always reminds my of my old friend Lawrence Vega and having lunch at Jerry's Pizza in Canoga Park, CA.

Small coffee shop in La Jolla, CA on a family road trip. My sisters and I probably played this 10 times in a row from the little juke boxes at the end of the table.



Courtney DIDN’T Kill Kurt!
Silver Supporting Member
Green Day Wake me up When September ends… such an emotional song and I still remember hearing it when it came out and even though I was 8 it left an impact on me and everytime I hear that song it takes me back to when things were much simpler and I was hanging out with my older cousins who got me into a lot of the 90s bands (yes I know the songs from 2004)



For me, songs that work like time machines are songs that I don't actually listen to at all today, or aren't particularly fans of, which is why it works as a time machine because it exists purely in the past (and arguably songs that to me are dated that you may not hear as often if at all today, but were on regular rotation back in the day):

PM Dawn - Set A Drift on Memory Bliss

I actually prefer the original "True" by Spandau Ballet but this song let's just say reminds me of a certain person in my life at the time when we were teenagers.

Garth Brooks - The Dance

Brings me back to high school cafeteria. A worker there loved this song and it was constantly played on the jukebox for years I was there. Reminds me of the first time I really felt the class difference between us students and the cafeteria workers and janitorial staff.

Jason Mraz - You and I Both

This brings me back to the early 2010s in a different time in my life (also didn't know that Lizzy Caplan is in the video!). This, along with Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, and Michael Buble - their songs on constant rotation it seemed back then. It's not that long ago, but when I hear these songs now it feels like a different era both in the world but also personally for me.


Green Day Wake me up When September ends… such an emotional song and I still remember hearing it when it came out and even though I was 8 it left an impact on me and everytime I hear that song it takes me back to when things were much simpler and I was hanging out with my older cousins who got me into a lot of the 90s bands (yes I know the songs from 2004)

This is one of the songs that does it for me too - it was one of the first ones I learnt when I started playing guitar.

I absolutely loved American Idiot, I had the Bullet In A Bible DVD (later - also on release) - my friend and I got these the second they came out, and that album, the band and this song specifically are a huge reason as to why I even started learning guitar. Along with a few other albums that came out around the same time (first 2 MCR albums, first 2 Brand New albums etc you get the picture).

I feel like you might have unknowingly just corrected a failure in my memory - I've always had it in my head that I started playing guitar at 18, I thought I got my first guitar at 18.. but it must have been 17, because I can clearly recall getting the guitar at about the same time as we got American Idiot, and we got that on release as we were already fans of Green Day.. I'd have just turned 17, not 18, in 2004, when I got my first guitar.

Anyway, yes, Wake Me Up When September Ends is very much a nostalgic track for me for many reasons.

Another one that gets me, slightly earlier, is Demolition Lovers from My Chemical Romance's debut - I had the song as my ringtone, it was in 2 "parts" - part one was my call tone, part 2 was my message tone.

The second I hear that song, I'm straight back to like, 2002 - it does a little more than that though, because in taking me back to 2002, it also brings back memories of other music I was into back then - Brand New's YFW, Taking Back Sunday's TAYF, Thrice's IOS, Avril Lavigne's Let Go.. so much great music back then.

Looking at the charts - there's a lot of music I don't mind to this day from back then - The Calling, Vanessa Carlton, a handful of Nelly songs, Linkin Park, Usher, Eminem, Kelly Clarkson, Goo Goo Dolls etc..

Slo Lerner

I have a vivid memory of the entire REM album, ‘Green’. It came out in November 1988, election day actually. Anyway, while it is not my favorite REM album by any stretch, whenever I hear anything off it, I think of the day it came out. I remember that me and this older girl that I had a crush on were going to see Iggy Pop downtown. I had just got ‘REM, ‘Green’ that day so I had the tape playing when we were going down there. I can almost smell her Poison perfume even. Good memories for sure lol

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